Official unemployment data show the clear impact of the pandemic. In July, the number of jobless seeking employment was 1,095,997 or almost 13% higher than the 970,201 registered jobless in July 2019.
This reflects the loss of jobs in the tourism sector, where a lot of seasonal employment takes place.
Still, July data is slightly improved on June’s, when the number of jobless seeking employment was 1,126,173. In other words, there was a 2.68% decrease month-on-month in July; still not enough to compensate for the big losses in previous months.
The number of those receiving unemployment benefits was 147,524, or 31.7% higher than July 2019 (111,990). This is the result of the government’s decision to extend benefits at a time when job creation is extremely low. And, since this measure will be extended for several more months, the number of those receiving benefits will stay high.
Of the 147,524 receiving benefits, 15.80% are seasonal workers in the tourism industry. In normal times, these people would be working in July.
More than half of the jobless still seeking work (51.60%) are long-term unemployed – that is, they have been out of work for at least 12 months. And women comprise almost two-thirds (65.07%) of the total jobless number.
Men and women aged 30-44 comprise 37% of the total number of unemployed. Of course, this is not an entirely accurate picture, since many among the young, especially under-24s, have not yet got their first job.
High school graduates comprise 43.71% of the unemployed; another 20.29%, well over 200,000, are university graduates.
An Alpha Bank report released earlier this week shows that, from mid-March to the end of May, when the tightest lockout measures were applied, there were far fewer hirings of part-time employees.
Specifically, about 250,800 people were hired, some in anticipation of summer employment in tourism and related sectors, while such hirings had exceeded 807,000 in the same period last year.